2016-2017 Global Development Studies Senior Thesis Projects


Emma Erler '17

Project Title: Mobilizing the Marginalized: Hindutva as Development Aid

Summary: The cases explored in this paper illuminate the complexities of humanitarian aid delivered by Hindu nationalist organizations. I investigate the origins of nationalism in post-colonial context in order to understand the conditions in which Hindu nationalism was conceived. The organizations studied in this paper highlight the strategies of political mobilization used by Hindu nationalist services organization. This paper provides a synthesis of the existing literature in the field, by seeking to understand the commonalities within the current body of research on embedded mobilization through Hindu nationalism. Through this paper, I examine the ways in which Hindu nationalist organizations incorporate subaltern communities into Hindutva rhetoric and the sociopolitical consequences of these actions. Using the prominent theories in contemporary development literature, I argue that Hindu nationalist organizations can perpetuate inequality through institutionalizing social divisions.